Identification of In Vitro Inhibitors of Monkeypox Replication

Kevin Chiem, Aitor Nogales, Maria Lorenzo, Desarey Morales Vasquez, Yan Xiang, Yogesh K. Gupta, Rafael Blasco, Juan Carlos de la Torre, Luis Martínez-Sobrido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Monkeypox virus (MPXV) infections in humans have historically been restricted to regions of endemicity in Africa. However, in 2022, an alarming number of MPXV cases were reported globally, with evidence of person-to-person transmission. Because of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the MPXV outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The supply of MPXV vaccines is limited, and only two antivirals, tecovirimat and brincidofovir, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of smallpox, are currently available for the treatment of MPXV infection. Here, we evaluated 19 compounds previously shown to inhibit different RNA viruses for their ability to inhibit orthopoxvirus infections. We first used recombinant vaccinia virus (rVACV) expressing fluorescence (mScarlet or green fluorescent protein [GFP]) and luciferase (Nluc) reporter genes to identify compounds with antiorthopoxvirus activity. Seven compounds from the ReFRAME library (antimycin A, mycophenolic acid, AVN-944, pyrazofurin, mycophenolate mofetil, azaribine, and brequinar) and six compounds from the NPC library (buparvaquone, valinomycin, narasin, monensin, rotenone, and mubritinib) showed inhibitory activity against rVACV. Notably, the anti-VACV activity of some of the compounds in the ReFRAME library (antimycin A, mycophenolic acid, AVN-944, mycophenolate mofetil, and brequinar) and all the compounds from the NPC library (buparvaquone, valinomycin, narasin, monensin, rotenone, and mubritinib) were confirmed with MPXV, demonstrating their inhibitory activity in vitro against two orthopoxviruses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • GFP
  • antivirals
  • luciferase
  • mScarlet
  • monkeypox
  • orthopoxvirus
  • poxvirus
  • vaccinia virus

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